Friday, December 15, 2017
Golf

Co-leaders seek first PGA win

PALM BEACH GARDENS — PGA Tour rookie Luke Guthrie and Michael Thompson shared the lead after the third round of the Honda Classic on Saturday.

Neither Guthrie nor Thompson has a tour victory. Today's winner gets into the Masters. Guthrie has never played in the major. Thompson hasn't since 2008, when he qualified as a U.S. Amateur finalist.

With wind making the course play longer and the water look more daunting, Guthrie, 22, closed with eight pars to shoot 1-over 71 and sit at 8-under 202.

"I'm proud of the way I played," Guthrie said. "I played smart, solid golf, stayed away from the trouble.

Thompson, 27, who played in his first tour event in 2008, just missed a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to shoot 70 on a day he compared to playing in a major.

"It's almost like the conditions of the grass are like the U.S. Open, but we have the wind of a British Open," he said. "You just have to take your medicine and make your bogey; just try to eliminate the doubles out here and just try to play smart golf and know that you're going to make a couple birdies."

Today's final round figures to be wide open.

Lee Westwood (70) sat two back after chipping in for birdie at No. 14, making a 20-foot birdie at No. 17 and salvaging par despite hitting a 3-wood into the water at No. 18. "I like my chances regardless of the conditions," Westwood said. "I'm playing nicely.

Westwood was tied with Geoff Ogilvy (70), who recovered after bogeys on three of his first four holes. Ogilvy is trying to recover from a miserable West Coast swing in which he missed his past four cuts and didn't qualify for the recent match play event.

"Even par for the day was never going to go backward (on the leaderboard)," said Ogilvy, who if he doesn't win has until the end of the month to go from No. 79 in the world into the top 50 to qualify for the Masters. "It was only going to go forward, and I did that."

In all, 11 players were separated by four shots, including Rickie Fowler (69), Charles Howell (71), Keegan Bradley (70) and Justin Rose (72). But not Tiger Woods.

Woods shot 32 on the front nine but didn't make a birdie on the back nine. He had double bogey on the par-3 17th when his shot plugged into the bank short of the green and he couldn't find the ball. He shot 70 and was eight back.

LPGA: Na Yeon Choi shot 5-under 67 and shared the third-round lead with Stacy Lewis at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Lewis, the second-round leader and 2012 player of the year, overcame bogeys at Nos. 1 and 3 to shoot 69 and be at 14-under 202. Paula Creamer (69) was third, two shots back, despite an injured shoulder sustained in a five-car accident on the way to the Bangkok airport last week. "I'm just so pleased to be out here," she said, "let alone to be in contention." Semi­nole's Brittany Lincicome (72) was 12 back and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (75) 19 back.

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